A gift for all who visit the Benevolent Association

This treasured portrait of Mary Baker Eddy is one of two painted by Margaret F. Richardson in 1922 for the Christian Science Board of Directors. The portrait was based on a photograph taken in April 1886 by H. G. Smith. In 1936, the portrait was placed over the mantel in the Reception Room of the Benevolent Association. The Board of Directors gave the painting to the Trustees of Chestnut Hill Benevolent Association in 1981.

Over the years, the portrait has been admired by many who have come through the doors of the BA. It was removed over ten years ago due to a build-up of soot from the wood-burning fireplace. Now that the fireplace has been retrofitted with a clean-burning gas insert, we are ready to return the portrait to its original location above the mantel. The painting has been cleaned and restored and is currently being re-framed. 

We invite you to help us with this important restoration project. We need to raise $4,100 more in contributions to finish restoring this unique portrait of our Leader. Please click the donate button below and note in your gift the word “portrait” in the Gift Details section. You are also welcome to give by phone or mail.

If you would like more information, please contact Jennie Christensen at 1-800-662-9937 or jchristensen@chbenevolent.org


Click here for historical information on the portrait and the artist (PDF)



2 Responses to A gift for all who visit the Benevolent Association

  1. Peter Reichl-Cunningham says:

    Dear Team

    Was it wise, and is it wise, to hang a precious oil painting over a fireplace?

    Mary Baker Eddy so wisely said, “The time for thinkers has come.”

    Have a wonderful spiritual adventure NOW.


    • pwoodsum says:

      A very good question! We are grateful that our new gas-burning smoke-free fireplace will NOT damage the restored painting. And even more grateful that many visitors will have a wonderful view of the painting as they enter the BA’s Original Building.

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